Earl Scruggs and other influential musicians

Remember my brother Jimmy?  He  is an accomplished bluegrass musician, among his many talents, and he sent me this notice and this suggestion:

I have an idea for your blog. I don’t know if you have heard, but Earl Scruggs died yesterday at age 88. I submit that he is one of the most influential musicians of our generation. He defined how one is supposed to play a five string banjo today, and bluegrass music did not really did not become bluegrass until Earl Scruggs joined Bill Monroe’s band in 1945. In many respects, he can be seen as the co-founder of bluegrass music, along with Bill Monroe.

This may be an opportunity for your bloggers to get into an interesting debate as to who they think are the most 20 most influential musicians of our generation.. To limit the scope of the discussion, you may want to limit the list to American born musicians.  Just a thought.

And a very good thought, I might add.  We need to pay tribute to Earl Scruggs.  Bluegrass music is one of the great American art forms.  Who else would you list as among America’s most influential musicians?  (Note:  not greatest, as such, but most influential.  Think widely about the different kinds and styles  of music America has come up with.)

In the meantime, here is Earl, who pretty much invented this way of playing the banjo,  playing one of his break-downs: